High-budget foreign travel is not the only way to expand your horizons; other approaches will allow you to discover new things that you will remember for the rest of your life.
You can experience new countries in depth without spending a great deal of money. As a matter a fact, you can experience a country most intimately if your budget is low.
Why? Think about it: it’s quite interesting to go on vacation and stay in expensive, all-inclusive hotels and relax all day, but it’s better to save this experience for when you are older and you really need to unwind from your job. Now, while you are younger, you have more time and the will to travel and make yourself smarter, more self-confident and open-minded. You have the whole summer to travel, you have holidays, and the best way to fill them is with traveling. You can learn a lot from books, but traveling can also completely change your life. You don’t need much money, will is enough.
Search for cheap tickets on the internet and grab them when you see a price you can afford. On the internet you can also find helpful advice, for example, site TripAdvisor will help you to find out everything you want about the places you plan to visit.
Traveling is good for your health – every change of environment is good. Traveling is also good for reducing stress, forgetting about your problems, and making you happier. “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page,” said St. Augustine. Traveling is important not only for your body, it is important for your soul also. Some people say that traveling makes you a better person.
While you are traveling you may find places where you want to stay for the rest of your life. Meeting new people can help you to devise a plan for moving there some day and making your dream come true. Traveling will teach you that everything is possible. You never know what one trip can bring to you. The feeling that you are on top of the world is an experience that no one can take from you. You will realize the whole world can be yours, no matter how much money you have. You will learn to believe, support and respect and most important of all you will learn to love your life whatever it is.
Try to find accommodation where you will meet people from the country you are visiting. Avoid hotels, because they are not representative of the local way of life. It is great if you can find a place on couch surfing and stay there – that is the best way to encounter the way of life of local people, and at the same time it’s the cheapest.
Take a map and explore. Don’t be afraid to go to unknown locations. Even if you get lost, it is not a big deal, with help of other people you will find a way out. But, be careful; if a place looks dangerous, don’t be curious – leave it.
Talk with locals; ask them to help you with your questions. Let them recommend new things worth seeing, and ask them about their habits and customs. Don’t be afraid, most people like to help strangers – let them talk and enrich your life with their stories. If possible, ask them to spend some time with you. You never know – maybe you will stay in contact with someone you meet for a very long time.
Open your eyes and listen to find out if there is a party, festival or holiday that you can visit. That is how you can experience the local way of celebration and perhaps meet local people.
Try the national cuisine. Food is one of the best ways to feel closer to a culture.
Don’t take on too much; you are in foreign country to enjoy, not to get tired. If you have only a couple of days to spend in one location, be aware that you will never have time to see everything you want. But, it is enough if you let everything you see make you happier. Allow yourself to experience freedom.
Be open-minded and accept other cultures, even if they are foreign to you and your way of living. Forget about prejudice and discrimination, let the people you are meeting show you what is good and true about their way of living.
Learn some words in their language. Local people will be delighted, and in this way you will expand your mind and learn words you will never forget – and they will always remind you of your great experience.
You may have some bad experiences but they will teach you how to be more careful. If something turns out badly, at the beginning you may feel devastated but later you will realize it was a test that made you stronger.
Be careful, it is good to be open to meeting new people, but don’t believe anyone and everyone. Use your instincts and be smart – it is normal for someone to try to trick you and it is important for you to be open to meeting new people, but you must be rational.
Working or volunteering abroad
The only experience that is better than traveling is working and volunteering abroad. Imagine experiencing all the things that travel magazines write about, but in a couple of months. If you are afraid to go by yourself, alone in a foreign country, you can find a program to help you. Today there are many agencies and programs that send people to other countries to work or volunteer, and all for the sake of experience. Take your time, ask about everything you want to know and fill your summer holiday with something new. You need only a couple of months to change your life completely.
Wherever you go people will be changing their situation nonstop. You will realize that life is shorter than you think, and you don’t have all the time in the world – you must react more quickly in new surroundings. This will help you to meet new people faster and take your life in your hands.
Be sure that the people you meet become real friends. You will never be alone even if you go alone into a new environment; the people you meet there will share good and bad things with you. They will become your friends for life.
You will get better at planning your time, you will learn to cook, clean your accommodation and behave like an “adult”. You will have a new life, completely different from your old one. And after you get over the initial shock, you will start to enjoy every second of it.
You will learn how to share everything you have with your roommates or neighbors. You will also learn how to be more tolerant and rational about your concerns.
You will learn how to use the money you have earned, and what is really important to buy and what is not.
You will learn that you can live without phone, computer or tablet. Or other things that seem important. In a new environment you will try to connect with new people and realize that not everything that matters is technology.
You will do things that you want to do. You will forget about norms that didn’t allow you to be young and crazy in your own country. You will learn to enjoy your life without regrets. Also, traveling will teach you to live in the moment. When, if not now?
Imagine how many things you can learn; you will work with completely new people in a completely new country, in a new language. You will look at that country not like a tourist but from the other side, from the side of your employer, and you will see things rationally. When you are traveling, most of the things you see are quite nice and beautiful. Only experience like this can really show you the country and society where are you working.
You will learn to appreciate your home more. You will see with your own eyes a different way of living, and this experience can make you more rational in the future when you are reading or watching news reports from other countries.
This will be an unforgettable experience of living on your own, far away from home and family. You will be brave enough to put your life and your personality to the test and for sure, after all you will go through, you will feel that you can do anything in the world. That feeling is the best reward you can get.
You will never know how many things you can learn if you don’t do it by yourself. Don’t forget: it is never too late to start traveling. Here are three stories of people who like traveling and working abroad and how that experience changed their lives.
Andrea Krnjaić, 24 years old
Andrea worked abroad in the summer of 2011. She went to Greece with a program organized through her Faculty of Hotel Management and spent 2 months there. She was only 19 years old, and this experience was really huge for her.
I lived two months near the sea, working as a waitress in a big hotel. We had food and accommodation paid and a small salary, but more than enough for me at that point in my life, the experience was all that mattered to me. My coworkers and I lived together in the same place, I shared a room with two girls and we had parties every single night, that was the best part – said Andrea.
She says that working was really hard and stressful but she always had time to relax, go out or enjoy the beach.
I have so many memories from this summer in Greece, so many fantastic stories that I will never forget. The country is gorgeous, the people are friendly, the cuisine is amazing; we met so many Greek people – some of them come to Serbia every year, even now, to see us, and we still have a great time together. Many of us fell in love with strangers there (or with each other); there were also Serbian-Greek relationships that are still going on, some of my friends stayed there and found jobs – said Andrea, full of enthusiasm.
After that year in Greece she went to the same place in Greece a second time to work during the summer and the last two years she was in the United States, also working during the summer, but longer than in Greece – all together she spent 10 months in America. She earned money, saved some of it and part of it she used to travel all over North America. She said that is the best thing that ever happened to her. She will graduate in a couple of months, and she is not planning to stop traveling – she has new goals.
I would like to go on a cruise ship or to try to get a job in America. I learned things that I would have never learned if I had stayed in Serbia. I can’t wait for new experiences, new adventures and new stories worth living for – explained Andrea.
Dejan Durica, 23 years old
During Dejan’s first year in college, one of his friends told him about a program for students during the summer in the United States, and that sounded like good idea to him. Especially, because he always liked American movies, sports, nature and famous people. Now, he realizes that idea was the best decision in his life.
I went to the USA four times in a row, during Summer breaks. Of course, I made money, but that wasn’t my primary goal. I gained experience, and I met some friends, both Americans and Serbians. And those are friends for life. Also I traveled a lot. One of my Dream Trips was a trip to the Caribbean Islands. I was on a cruise ship 3 times bigger than the Titanic – said Dejan.
He remembers one time he was on a road trip to Washington D.C with three friends. They had so much fun that weekend. They were at a night club, they visited their Serbian friends, monuments, and the White House… At the end of the day, they decided to visit the famous Washington ZOO. They looked for directions to ZOO on Google Maps, and Dejan was the navigator. At a crossroads he made a wrong decision, and they ended up at the entrance to the Pentagon, the main military headquarters in the US. There was a sign at the side of the road, that announced they were going forward at their own risk and that someone might open fire on them.
We started to panic, but immediately we calmed down and turned around, but our heads were down, and we expected shots. After we got on the right road again we started to laugh so hard that we had to pull over until we stopped laughing. Imagine the headline in the newspapers: “Students from Serbia, tried to break into the Pentagon!” At that moment we were so scared, but now it’s just another beautiful memory for life – admits Dejan.